PHOTO BY MATTHEW RANEY
Showing no signs of slowing down, the Boston Pride continued their offensive onslaught against the rest of the NWHL, topping the Connecticut Whale in Stamford by a score of 6-1 on Sunday afternoon. Denisa Křížová led the way with two goals and an assist for the Pride and her linemate McKenna Brand finished with three assists. For the second straight game, Boston’s Gigi Marvin potted two goals in a short time span at the end of a second period to put a close game out of reach.
After putting up eight goals on Monday in a win over the Metropolitan Riveters in Newark, Boston had their mojo going on the road again and exploded out of the gates with three, first period goals. Rookie forwards and former college teammates/linemates Brand and Křížová combined for four points (1g-3a) in the opening 20 minutes as the Pride peppered Connecticut’s new goalie Erin O’Neil with 16 shots. Křížová kicked off the scoring 7:35 into the game when she took a pass from her linemate and flipped a rising backhand over the goaltender’s shoulder for her fifth goal of the season.
Mary Parker got the eventual game-winning goal when she netted her third goal in two games, converting on a rebound less than two minutes after Michelle Löwenhielm had tied the game for the Whale at 12:13. Amanda Pelkey stretched Boston’s lead to 3-1 late in the first period when she pounced on a rebound of Toni Ann Miano’s point shot on the power play.
It was more of the same in period two as the Pride bombarded O’Neil with shot after shot. The Whale had a chance to cut into the Pride lead midway through the period but Jessica Koizumi was unable to handle a puck at the end of a 3-on-2 rush and Connecticut never even got a shot on goal. That dynamic duo of Brand and Křížová struck again, with the latter getting her second of the game at 16:32 via a wrist shot. Then Marvin went to work and Skarupa put on a passing display in the final five minutes of the period, with some golden plays to set up two goals in a short span for Marvin, just like in Monday's rout.
At 17:23 Marvin found herself wide open on the side of the net as three Connecticut defenders followed Skarupa to the middle of the circles. Skarupa made a perfect pass to her linemate and then did the same at 19:30 on a high-speed rush into the zone where the two Olympians crisscrossed and confused the Whale defending players.
In the third period, no goals were scored but each team replaced their goaltenders. O’Neil (23 saves/29 shots faced) was replaced by Shenae Lundberg (6 saves/6 shots) and Katie Burt (15 saves/16 shots) was replaced by Brittany Ott(4 saves/4 shots).
Game Notes: Five players had multiple points for Boston - Brand (3a), Pelkey (1g-2a), Křížová (2g-1a), Marvin (2g), Skarupa (3a). Pride captain Jillian Dempsey was held pointless, but won 13 of 15 face-offs; Skarupa led all players with six shots on goal. Rachael Ade led Connecticut with four shots on goal and her teammates Shannon Doyle and Hanna Beattie led all players with three blocked shots apiece. Koizumi, O’Neil, Tess Adams, and Vanessa Gagnonmade their season debuts for the Whale. Boston hosts Minnesota next Saturday night. Connecticut hosts Buffalo, also on Saturday night, and then hosts Minnesota Sunday afternoon.
3 Stars of the Game:
1) Denisa Křížová (Boston) 2 goals (6), assist (8)
2) Gigi Marvin (Boston) 2 goals (10)
3) McKenna Brand (Boston) 3 assists (11)